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ESPN Chronicles Gary Trent Jr., Jordan Bolton Friendship

The former basketball rivals have formed quite a bond.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers fans know plenty about Gary Trent’s development on the court this season, but this week ESPN also gave us a peek at his life outside of basketball. The four-letter network profiled Trent’s friendship with Jordan Bolton, a former basketball rival turned best friend.

“They are like brothers, they would do anything for each other. It’s just really an incredible friendship.” Tiffany Elliot, the mother of Bolton, summarizes the friendship. But they weren’t instant friends, in fact, they didn’t want to hang out together initially. The two boys were basketball rivals, and their parents intervened to bring them together. It didn’t take long for the two to become inseparable. They went off to college— Trent Jr. to Duke, and Bolton to Lake Region State in North Dakota.

On February 10, 2018, Bolton was injured in an accident that changed his life forever. When Trent Jr. heard that his friend was paralyzed, he recalls going into a film session and not remembering anything. A few weeks later, he saw his friend in person. Bolton recounts their first meeting after the accident. “I could tell he was concerned and scared, so I just made sure to assure him that I’m gonna be fine. And then I just seen the brother I always knew and he was like ‘You’re right. Let’s do this [bleep] then.’”

Over the last 3 years, Trent Jr. has been consistently a part of Bolton’s recovery— he is determined to see his friend walk again. Bolton has made progress, regaining the use of his arms and the ability to sit up on his own. According to Bolton, Trent Jr. calls him everyday to be sure he’s doing his physical therapy.

“A lot of people telling him it’s a miracle, the stuff he’s doing. They’ve never seen it before.” Trent Jr. says, “For somebody to have an injury to that magnitude and have a 5% chance to ever have feeling and then 2 years, 3 years later they’re doing everything they said they couldn’t. He know I’m always here for him, love him to death. That’s my little brother, you know? I love him.”

You can see the full video from ESPN here: